God Rewards Those Who Diligently Seek Him

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"Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:6-7

Seeking the Lord Wholeheartedly

The Word of God teaches us that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). We are commanded to look to the Lord and His strength, to seek His face always (Psalm 105:4). "God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him." Acts 17:27

"But if from there you seek the Lord your God you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29

"Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap the fruit of unfailing love and break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you." Hosea 10:12

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Luke 11:9-10

A Hunger for Reality

A study of the Revivals in the Bible and in history reveals that all Revivals begin with a deeper appreciation for the Holiness of God and a realisation of how offensive our sins must be in the sight of our Holy God. There is a hunger for reality, a desperate seeking for the face and favour of God. "Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard what I had spoken… I have heard you, declares the Lord."2 Kings 22:19

God Gives Grace to the Humble

God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6. Do you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Hunger and thirst for righteousness!

A Man After God's Own Heart

King David is described in the Bible as a man after God's own heart. To study and pray the Psalms, most of which were written by David, gives us some insight into why David is described as a man after God's own heart. Hear this cry from David's heart: "Create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your Salvation, uphold me by Your genuine Spirit, then I will teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will be converted to You." Psalm 51:10-13

Praying the Psalms

One of the most effective ways to revive our devotional lives is to pray through the Psalms. The Psalms are the biggest book of the Bible, the middle book of the Bible, the prayer book and the Hymn book of the Bible. The Psalms are the most quoted part of the Bible. In the Gospels, our Lord Jesus Christ quoted more from the Psalms than from any other section of the Old Testament. If you want to revive your devotional life, begin praying through the Psalms. Make them the prayers of your heart.

Scripture Study Transforms Lives

Our Mission, Frontline Fellowship, grew out of a Bible study and prayer fellowship in the Army. Every night, for two years, we gathered together and studied God's Word, seeking His face and praying through the Psalms. Soon we experienced an extraordinary move of God. There were dramatic conversions. The Lord added to our number regularly. The Bible study and prayer fellowship doubled and trebled and quadrupled in size. Bible studies multiplied throughout the barracks. There were dramatic answers to prayer and there were startling acts of God's judgement against prominent antagonists of the Gospel.

Life and Death are in the Tongue

One foul-mouthed blasphemer was warned by one of our Christians: "God will Judge you!" The man blasphemed again, lifted up his coke tin and a bee sitting on the can stung him on his tongue! That blasphemer was not able to take the Lords Name in vain for quite some time after that.

The Stiff-Necked

On another occasion, a vile pagan who delighted in embarrassing Christians and ridiculing the Gospel, was warned: "God will judge you, you stiff-necked!" Shortly after that this perverse individual broke his neck going through the obstacle course. For the next six weeks that he was wearing a neck brace, even the pagans in the unit were pointing at him and laughing: "God has judged you, you stiff-necked!"

Delivered from Violent Death

One of our platoons reported 12 mortars landing amongst them, but not one exploded. Each one landed on their fins, detonators pointing upwards! They said that the whole platoon fell on their knees and worshipped God, recognising that it was His hand alone, which had spared them.

The Fear of God

On numerous occasions we had all-night prayer meetings. There were times when we were in the front of the unit chapel, spread-eagle on the ground, unable to utter a word, overcome by the fear of God, in awe of His presence. It is hard to explain the extraordinary experience of being in the presence of an Almighty and Holy God. We were deeply humbled and overwhelmed by a sense of our sinfulness and unworthiness.

Dissatisfaction with Shallow Substitutes

Out of these intense times of Bible study, prayer and worship, developed a hunger for Holiness, dissatisfaction with the superficial, sensational, emotionalistic cheap grace and easy believism, so prevalent in all too many churches today. Many are social clubs, nightclubs and entertainment centres with a thin religious veneer. Passivity, neutrality, compromise, cowardice and apathy are deadly enemies of spiritual health and growth.

An Inextinguishable Blaze

An irrepressible enthusiasm for sharing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ resulted. From our Bible Study of spiritual health and growth, many souls were saved. Lives were transformed. Many of those who experienced the reality of God in those early Frontline Fellowship prayer meetings responded to the call to full-time Missionary work. A fire was lit which, over 34 years later, continues to burn brightly.

Revival Fires

During the last over 33 years in full-time missionary work, I have had the privilege of experiencing some extraordinary moves of God: In the Revival in Romania, in the 1980s, and at KwaSizabantu Mission in Zululand, the hunger and thirst for righteousness, the enthusiasm for Bible study and prayer, the teachability and receptivity to the Word of God, the transformed lives, dynamic worship, decisive action, to make full Restitution.

Marks of Real Christianity

As Dr. Paul Negrut of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Romania said to me: "It is easy to see who a real Christian is. A real Christian loves God. A real Christian loves to study the Bible. A real Christian loves to pray, and a real Christian hates sin!"

Dedication

He also said to me, "We do not count our members by how many attend the Sunday morning service, but how many attend the mid-week Bible study and prayer meeting."

What Hinders Revival Today?

When we read of the bold Christianity of the Book of Acts, of the Great Evangelical Revivals under George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, and of the Revivals of the 19th century, such as in the time of Andrew Murray in the 1860 Revival in South Africa, the question arises: "What is hindering Revival in our time?"

Recognising How We Grieve the Holy Spirit

Prayerlessness would be an obvious answer. Whatever happened to the prayer meeting? The neglect of God's Word. Whatever happened to Bible study? The prevalent worldliness, selfishness, pride, gossip, slander, passivity, neutrality, inactivity, the lukewarmness, half-heartedness, indecisiveness, cowardice and compromise. Sitting on the fence. There are so many distractions, deviations and delusions, which are ensnaring and enslaving the people of God. All of these are symptoms of the lack of the fear of God. In so many ways we quench the Holy Spirit, we grieve the Holy Spirit and we resist the Holy Spirit.

Surrender to God

You cannot expect maximum blessing from minimum commitment. Wholehearted surrender to God is essential. What you surrender to God, He accepts. What God accepts, He cleanses. What He cleanses, He fills. What God fills, He uses.

Prayer Is Not a Substitute for Obedience

A.W. Tozer declared: "Have you noticed how much praying for Revival has been going on of late – and how little Revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for Revival for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for Revival while ignoring the plain precepts laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience."

The Lord says: "Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline, so be earnest and repent." Revelation 3:19

Repentance and Restitution

Wholehearted repentance, and thorough restitution is foundational in working for Reformation and praying for Revival. Return what you stole! Pay back what you owe! Restore broken relationships. Repair what you have damaged. Are there any CDs or DVDs that you need to break, burn, or throw away? Are there any downloads that you need to delete? Are their publications that you need to tear up and burn? Are there subscriptions and channels that you need to cancel? Are there websites that you need to block? Are there relationships that you need to end? Are there people that you need to make right with? Do all the restitution of property and restoration of relationships that you can.

Decisive Action

Take decisive action to revitalise your devotional life. Bible before breakfast! Pray through the Psalms. Reform your family. Restore the prayer meeting. Reform your local church. Get involved in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Seek the Lord Diligently

God rewards those who diligently seek Him. God resists the proud and He gives grace to the humble.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

Dr. Peter Hammond
Livingstone Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
Email: mission@frontline.org.za
Website: www.livingstonefellowship.co.za

This is a summary of a sermon preached by Dr. Peter Hammond at Livingstone Fellowship. The full message is available on audio CD from Christian Liberty Books.

See also:
Heart Cry for Revival
The Ulster Revival of 1859
Revival in the Bible and in History
Andrew Murray and the 1860 Revival

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